Rafting in Ganges
Ideas Cell Tours
South India offers a blend of Indian Culture and tradition , backwaters , food people ....
Taj Mahal Goa Beaches Rajasthan Kerala Wildlife Adventure
Ideas Cell Tours
Taj Tours
Rajasthan Tours Taj
Kerala Tours Taj
Goa Tours Taj
Buddhist Taj
Yoga Tours
Español Español Français Français Deutsch Deutsch Italiano Italiano Português Português {short description of image}
{short description of image}
Ideas Cell Tour Packages » cities in south india» Mahabalipuram


For further Details Contact Us

Mahabalipuram is the seaport of the ancient Palava dynasty of Kanci. The temples and carvings here date back to the 7th century. They stand out because of their simplicity and the fact that they also depict many scenes from the every-day life of every-day people.

One of the most spectacular carvings is the "Descent of the Ganges" also known as 'Arjuna's Penance'. The carving tells the story of pious Arjuna who persuades Shiva to use his hair to break the fall of the River Ganga. The large cleft between the boulders is the where the Ganges descends. Around him is a crowd of animals, gods, and ascetics watching the saving of the world as the river descends.

World famous for its shore temples, Mahabalipuram, was the second capital of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. 58 kilometres from Madras on the Bay of Bengal, this tiny sea side village of Mahabalipuram, is set in a boulder strewn landscape. Tourists are drawn to this place by its miles of unspoiled beach and rock-cut art. The sculpture of this place, is particularly interesting, because it shows scenes of day-to- day life, in contrast to the rest of the state of Tamil Nadu, where carvings generally depict gods and goddesses.

As the early morning sun lifts the veil of darkness from the city the whole city appears bathing in colors of orange and red. The city in all its glory during early morning hours gives a mysterious appearance. Undoubtedly, Mahabalipuram (or Mamallapuram, its ancient name) is one of history's intriguing enigmas. The mystery of Mahabalipuram lingers, unravelled, but its sculptural extravaganza is a living testament of the virile artistic temperament of the Pallavas who were trend-setters in South Indian art.

Mahabalipuram art is divided into four categories : open air bas reliefs, structured temples, man-made caves and rathas ('chariots' carved from single boulders, to resemble temples or chariots used in temple processions). Most of the temples and rock carvings of this place were built during the reigns of Narsinha Varman I (AD 630-668) and Narsinha Varman II (AD 700-728). Though the initial kings of Pallava dynasty were followers of Jainism, the conversion of Mahendra Varman (AD 600-630) to Shaivism led most of the monuments to be related with Shiva or Vishnu.

Mahabalipuram Tourist Attractions

Arjuna's Penance
Carved in relief on the face of a huge rock, Arjuna's Penance is the mythical story of the river Ganges, issuing from its source high in the Himalayas. The surface of the rock has detailed carvings, showing the most endearing and natural renditions of animals. It also shows deities, and other semi-divine creatures and fables from the Panchtantra. Arjuna, one of the Pandava brothers and a consummate archer, is shown standing on one leg, doing penance to obtain a boon from Lord Shiva. It is said, that Arjuna had made a journey to a bank, on the river Ganges to do penance, in the hope that Shiva would part with his favourite weapon, the pashupatashatra, a magic staff or arrow.

Mandapams (low rise, rockcut halls)
In all, there are eight mandapams scattered over the main hill, two of which have been left unfinished.

Krishna Mandapam
This is one of the earliest rock-cut temples. It features carvings of a pastoral scene, showing Lord Krishna lifting up the Govardhana mountain, to protect his kinsmen from the wrath of Indra, the God of Rain.

These are architectural prototypes of all Dravidian temples, demonstrating the imposing gopurams and vimanas, multi-pillared halls and sculptured walls, which dominate the landscape of Tamil Nadu. The rathas are named after the Pandavas, the heroes of the Mahabharata epic. Although they are widely known as "Five Rathas", there are actually eight of them.

Shore Temples
The shore temples were built in 7th century, during the reign of Rajasimha, and represent the final phase of Pallava art. These beautiful and romantic temples, ravaged by wind and sea, are so significant that they were given World Heritage listing, a few years ago. The two spires of the temples, contain a shrine for Lord Vishnu, and for Lord Shiva.

The Mahabalipuram dance festival, is held every year from January 15 to February 15. During this period, dances from all over the country are staged, here, including Kathakali from Kerala, Kuchipudi from Andhra Pradesh, as well as tribal dances, puppet shows and classical and traditional music concerts.

For further Details Contact Us